Osteoporosis health-related behaviors in secular and orthodox Israeli Jewish women

Perla Werner*, David Olchovsky, Galia Shemi, Iris Vered

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare patterns of osteoporosis health-related behaviors in peri and postmenopausal ultra-orthodox and secular Jewish women. Methods: Interviews were conducted with 277 Israeli-Jewish women aged 45+. Health behaviors examined included: physical activity, smoking behavior, alcohol consumption, hormone replacement usage, screening behavior, calcium intake, pharmacological prevention, and help-seeking patterns. Correlates included demographic variables, health characteristics, knowledge, susceptibility beliefs, and familiarity with the disease. Results: Low proportions of women in both groups participated in physical activities, but differed in type. Calcium intake was deficient in both groups. Education was the only correlate of calcium intake among secular women, and previous experience with the disease was the main determinant among orthodox women. Compared with the secular group, a considerably lower proportion of orthodox women reported using HRT or having performed a bone density examination. Orthodox participants' level of knowledge about osteoporosis was significantly lower as well. Education was an important correlate of knowledge in both groups, as was having performed a bone density examination. Higher age and being menopausal were important correlates of knowledge only for secular women. Having a family member suffering from the disease was associated with higher levels of knowledge among orthodox women. Marked differences were found in the participants' sources of information across groups. Conclusions: Findings emphasize the need to expand education in all areas of osteoporosis health-related behaviors among ultra-orthodox women, and in calcium intake and exercise for secular women as well. The transmission of the information should be adapted to the practices of each group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-294
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Health-related behaviors
  • Orthodox
  • Osteoporosis


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